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I'm new to MTG. I have Horizon Chimera which has "Whenever you draw a card, gain 1 life." Does that mean you gain 1 life at the beginning of every round, when you draw a card? (That seems over-powered.)

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    Do you draw a card at the beginning of your turn?
    – Joe W
    Mar 8 '15 at 18:21
  • @JoeW: Is that a rhetorical question?
    – Hendrik
    Mar 8 '15 at 19:13
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    The card in question says you gain a life when you draw a card and doesn't list any restrictions. So if you draw a card at the card at the start of your turn you gain a life. And in the big scheme of things gaining 1 life a turn is not really that powerful.
    – Joe W
    Mar 8 '15 at 19:18
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    Hendrik, the point @JoeW wants to make (I think), which is a very good point, is that Magic cards are meant to be interpreted quite literally. If there were an exception, it would typically say so on the card. (There are a fair number of "exceptions" that are built into the rules of the game, and thus are not printed on cards, but generally you will do quite well by not worrying about those.) P.S. A strategic tip: gaining life is usually not very useful, and thus Horizon Chimera is not a very strong card.
    – David Z
    Mar 9 '15 at 12:39
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It means exactly what it says: every time you draw a card, you gain 1 life. This includes the card you draw at the beginning of your draw step every turn and any card that a spell or ability tells you to draw.

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    Also when you draw multiple cards you gain multiple life.
    – Joe W
    Mar 8 '15 at 19:05
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  1. Draw Step

504.1. First, the active player draws a card. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack.

You perform the "draw a card" keyword action at the beginning of your turns, and that's the action on which Horizon Chimera's ability triggers, so it does indeed trigger.


Keep in mind that the ability triggers for every card drawn, even when instructed to draw multiple cards.

120.2. Cards may only be drawn one at a time. If a player is instructed to draw multiple cards, that player performs that many individual card draws.

This differs from "whenever you lose life" (which triggers once every time you lose life, no matter how much life you lose) and "whenever [something] deals damage" (which triggers once every time it deals damage, no matter how much damage it deals).

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